Crystals of Knowledge Production. An Intercontinental Conversation about Open Science and the Humanities




Open access, open science, humanities, science history, journal publishing, digitization, knowledge distribution, communication


In this article two scholars engage in a conversation about open access and open science in research communication with a specific focus on the Humanities. 

The two scholars have very different points of departure. Whereas Jean-Claude Guedón has been a professor of Literature in North-America for many years and part of the open access movements since its beginning, Thomas Wiben Jensen is in the early part of his carreer and fairly new to the concept of open access. 

The conversation begins with a focus on the Danish national strategy for open access and this strategy's consquenses for the journal NyS where Thomas Wiben is part of the editorial board. However, the conversation brings the reader on an unexpected journey through the history of science communication and through alternative ways of understanding knowledge production as frozen moments or crystals in the Great Conversation of science.

It is the hope of the editor and the contributors that the conversation can lead to a debate about innovative ways of communicating and distributing scientific results. 


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Author Biographies

Niels Stern, Nordic Council of Ministers

Niels Stern ( is head of publishing at the Nordic Council of Ministers which is the intergovernmental co-operation between the Nordic countries (

Niels has more than ten years of experience working with e-publishing and research communication. He has played a key role in two international Open Access projects, one Nordic (Nordbib, 2007-2009) and one European (OAPEN, 2007-2010 Lately he has been the initiator and project manager of the NCM Open Access project finalized March 2014. Niels holds a Master of Arts in Nordic Literature (Univ. of Copenhagen) and a Master of Arts in Communications (Univ. of London).

Jean-Claude Guédon, University of Montreal

American Field Exchange Student 1960-61

Chemistry B. Sc. (with distinction) at Clarkson University (1966)

History of science Ph. D. at University of Wisconsin-Madison (1974)

Lecturer at York University - Glendon College, in Toronto, 1970-73

Professor at the Université de Montréal since 1973, first in "Histoire et sociopolitique des sciences" until 1988 and then in Comparative Literature (to the present). I became Full Professor in 1985.

One of the three winners of the Charle-Hélou "Francophonie" prize in 1996

Former vice-president of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2006-9)

Trustee of the Nexa Center for Internet and Society, Politecnico of Turin since 2011

Member of the Advisory Board of Redalyc since 2014

Expert at the European Commission

Has lectured over 500 times on all continents

Has published three books and well over 100 articles

Thomas Wiben Jensen, University of Southern Denmark

Thomas Wiben Jensen is Ph.D. and Associate Professor at the Department of Language and Communication at University of Southern Denmark (Slagelse Campus). Thomas’ main research interests include the role of emotion, gesture and cognition in social interaction, the overlaps and differences between metaphor in writing and metaphoricity in spoken whole-body interaction, and an ecological approach to philosophy of science. In 2008 he finished his Ph.D. on cognition in interaction, in which he investigated memory and emotion as embodied interactive phenomena in video recordings of couple’s therapy combining insights from Conversation Analysis (CA) with Cognitive Science and various types of emotion research. Since then Thomas has published two books (in Danish), one as co-editor (with Martin Skov) another as sole author. The former is a volume on the relationship between cognition and emotion and it’s implication for the humanities based on recent neuro-scientific studies. The latter, Cognition and Construction, deals with the relationship between the paradigms of Cognitivism and Constructionism and thoroughly describes how the two paradigms have informed various discussions on mind, language, human behavior, gender, literature, the arts and so forth. In recent years Thomas’ work has primarily been on distributed and enactive cognition, affordances and metaphoricity with reference to video recordings of social interaction in various organizational settings.  


Archambault, E.; Amyot, D.; Deschamps, P.; Nicol, A.; Rebout, L. & Roberge, G. (2013) Proportion of Open Access Peer-Reviewed Papers at the European and World Levels—2004-2011. [Online] Available from Brussels: Science Metrics Inc.

Danish Agency for Science, Technology, and Innovation. (2014) Den-mark´s National Strategy for Open Access. Copenhagen (

Foucault, M. (1969) “Qu'est-ce qu'un auteur”, Bulletin de la Société Française de Philosophie, 63 (3). p.73-

Halbwachs, M. (1997) La mémoire collective. Nouv. éd. rev. et augm. Paris: A. Michel.

Rose, M. (1995) Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

SPARC Europe. (2015) The Open Access Citation Advantage Service. [Online] Available from [Accessed 16th October 2015]




How to Cite

Stern, Niels, Jean-Claude Guédon, and Thomas Wiben Jensen. 2015. “Crystals of Knowledge Production. An Intercontinental Conversation about Open Science and the Humanities”. Nordic Perspectives on Open Science 1 (October):1–24.